Club news

“Owd Tom” Watson dies at his home


May 6, 1915
We regret to announce the death of Mr. Tom Watson, the popular secretary of the Liverpool Football Club, which occurred at his residency, Priory-road, Anfield, this afternoon.

Mr. Tom Watson – or “Owd Tom,” as he was familiarly and affectionately known throughout the whole football world – was perhaps the most popular figure in the Association code of professional football.

A player himself, he became secretary of the Sunderland club – the district in which he was born.

Thanks to his knowledge not only of the game, but of those who played it, he raised the famous North-Eastern club rapidly into the first flight.
It was talked of in the same breath as Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, and so far did its fame extend that it came to be called “the team of all the talents.”

Leaving the Wearside seventeen years ago, Mr. Watson came to Liverpool in order to take up the management of the Liverpool Club.
The Anfielders at that time were not in too safe a position, but under the ægis of the prince of football managers it achieved a wholly satisfactory position.

All who take any interest in the game know the exceptionally interesting history of the Liverpool club for the past seventeen years.
In that period it has had its ups and downs, but underlying all was a fine sense of sportsmanship that has overcome most difficulties, both financial and otherwise.

It was a popular saying that one never knew where Liverpool would be at the close of the season, for the club had a curious habit of finishing either close to the top or near to the bottom of the League competition.

The Anfielders, thinks in a large measure to Mr. Watson’s prescience, carried off the First League championship, the Second League championship, and the Lancashire League championship.

It was never their privilege to win the English Cup, but they achieved the next thing to it by being the runners-up for that national trophy.
During the summer season Mr. Watson was in the habit of spending his holiday abroad, and it is not too much to say that he had a distinct influence in popularising the game on the Continent.

His illness came suddenly, and the fatal result will be heard with regret.

He was present at a match last week, and it seems that he then complained of feeling cold. This unfortunately developed, but his friends did not regard the attack as serious, and the expectation was that Mr. Watson would soon be taking his usual prominent part in the football world.

It is a rather pathetic fact that Mr. Watson had just recently arranged to visit America this summer, where no doubt he would have further spread the popularity of the game.

Apart from his great interest in football, Mr. Watson was an ardent bowler, and was chairman of the local bowling association.
(Liverpool Echo: May 6, 1915)

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